I'm Still Standing: My Incredible Story
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Fabrice Muamba: I'm Still Standing is one of the books of the year. A life-affirming tale of courage and triumph that will surprise, fascinate and ultimately inspire you. THEY say that when you die, your life flashes before your eyes. Fabrice Muamba has been there. He knows. Muamba was the Bolton Wanderers player who collapsed during a televised FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur. After receiving emergency treatment on the pitch from medical personnel including a consultant cardiologist who was at the game as a fan he was rushed to a coronary care unit at the London Chest Hospital. Muamba s heart stopped beating for 78 minutes. But amazingly he survived. He made a remarkable recovery that has engrossed and enthralled both the footballing and wider world. Although it is Muamba's cardiac arrest and his wonderful resurgence that has brought him into the public eye, the truth is that he had already lived a remarkable life prior to his collapse. Born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Muamba was brought up surrounded by the terror of a civil war and without a father who was forced to flee to the UK in 1994 because of his links to unpopular President Mobutu Sese Seko. Muamba was not reunited with his father until 1999 when he moved to London aged 11. This schoolboy, who could not speak a word of English, then displayed the kind of strength and faith that would become his hallmark, achieving 10 GCSEs before swiftly rising to the top of the English game, firstly with Arsenal and Birmingham City before his final spell at Bolton.
I was losing my mum. One minute I was living in Kinshasa, getting on with life, moving forward and trying to literally survive. The next minute I’m landing at Heathrow. It is moments like these which made me as a man. Not many youngsters can have gone through that. After my tears had dried, I remember sitting on the plane chilling and relaxing, checking out everything. I had a woman looking after me in Nairobi for a day, chaperoning me, before the flight to London. Nothing
bed. They were my pride and joy. I never, ever played in dirty boots – they were too precious for that. That Sunday, Cem’s dad came to pick me up and we travelled to some pitches in Leytonstone, right next to where the Olympic Park is now. I was proper nervous. I was about to play football in boots and on grass – actual proper grass – for the first time. I had my boots in my school bag and that was it. No shin-pads, no kit, no nothing. We arrived and I remember thinking ‘this is it!’ My
I had to show how much I wanted it as well. We trained on that first day and as the session came to an end Steve walked over and said “the boss is coming down tomorrow,” meaning Liam Brady, the Arsenal head of youth development. “If ever you had a chance to impress him then this is it. Put yourself out tomorrow and show him what you’ve got – you never know.” An inter-club game had been organised so Liam could take a look at some other youngsters trying to make it. He had no idea who I
all the prayers I’m already receiving. All of it is going to waste. All the guys around me know I’m slipping away. All of Britain has started praying for me. All of me inches towards the end. ##### When Kevin Nolan spoke, we listened. Kevin’s attitude was that he was always our leader. He was so determined to succeed and set a great example. As a young player you need a guy who will speak to you like that. When I went to Bolton I realised this was a different ball
cup of tea made me smile so much, watching the rain fall outside didn’t bother me anymore, listening to Joshua sleeping – all these things, these tiny things made me almost cry with the joy of simply being here. One of the guiltiest pleasures was getting my Blackberry back. I couldn’t use it in hospital but I wasted no time catching up with all my mates and everyone who had sent good luck messages. I had a lot of people to thank. Loads of people visited the house and Ivan was the first guy